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To: Nakatu X
Nice story, but not a misdiagnosis. Some illnesses are very hard to diagnose, including meningitis. Good studies show that bacterial meningitis in its' early stages is ABSOLUTELY INDISTINGUISHABLE clinically from a viral syndrome. So unless we as a society are prepared to spinal tap every child that presents to the doctor with a fever, the diagnosis of meningitis will continue to be difficult, and some patients will be sent home. That is the fault of the way the disease presents, the lack of sensitivity of the current tests, but NOT the doctor. I always tell the parents of a feverish child that they need to return immediately if worse, and if not better in 2 days, because of just this situation.

You have doctors and fortune tellers mixed up. We can't predict the future.

If I told you that your 2 year old child with a fever of 101 needed a spinal tap, and he has absolutely no sign of meningitis on labs or physical exam, you would want to know why. If the reason is that there is a 1 in 100,000 chance that he could have early meningitis, but a 99,000 out of a 100,000 chance that it is just a virus, you would no doubt refuse. Yet he could have it. And if I routinely press parents to allow this, the complaints would drive me out of business ["this doctor has absolutely no indication that my child has meningitis, but he subjected her to a spinal tap!"]. So no doctor can practice like that. So we tell parents the odds, and send them home. And therefore the 1 in 100,000 who really HAS meningitis is NOT a misdiagnosis; it is a delayed presentation of disease.
50 posted on 12/29/2004 5:47:51 PM PST by Bushforlife (I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Bushforlife

Interesting. It was indeed bacterical meningitis. Thank you very much, I didn't know all that.


51 posted on 12/29/2004 6:01:40 PM PST by Nataku X (There are no converts in Islam... only hostages.)
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To: Bushforlife

I don't envy your position. You are right on. You guys save lives daily that in the "old days" folks wouldn't have made it. I guess we all expect miracles now. Hell, heart bypass surgery by a coworker is now a "routine deal." Mind blowing really.

I wish you well with retirement when it comes. Hang in there!

:)


55 posted on 12/29/2004 7:27:49 PM PST by SideoutFred (Save us from the Looney Left)
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